A recent global poll has revealed that 76 percent of us suffer with sadness and angst on a Sunday evening.
Not only is it anxiety-inducing to think of the fact that your relaxation time for the week is well and truly over, but most of us struggle to spend our Saturdays and Sundays genuinely unwinding in the first place, due to our sometimes chaotic schedules.
If you’ve spent the weekend socialising somewhere far away, taking your brood to and from swimming lessons or simply swinging your shopping trolley around various supermarkets, it’s vital to leave time to relax and unwind before the Monday grind!
It’s easy for many of us to turn to a tipple if we’re feeling glum, but Sunday night drinking sessions are not the answer. Not only is alcohol a depressant, exacerbating any feelings of anxiety, but it also forms connections that will create a negative association in your head, making the cycle of sad Sundays an even harder one to break. Often feeling lonely is a catalyst for anxiety, but alcohol is not a worthy companion.
“Don’t drink alcohol as it countermands the benefits of being alone,” says Geeta Sidhu-Robb, founder of Nosh Detox. “Getting tipsy is a way of avoiding being by yourself.” If you crave a refreshing beverage, try swapping that Baileys for a bowl of strawberries and cream or an alcohol-free alternative.
Get your heart racing
“It’s not breaking news that staying fit is an effective form of stress relief, but many people associate gym classes and scheduled physical exercise with their weekday routines, forgetting to leave time on a Sunday for any feel-good fitness activities.
“When you train on a Sunday night, it ups the endorphins in your system for around 24 hours — increasing the likelihood that you’ll wake up on Monday feeling positive about the week ahead,” says Keith McNiven, founder of Right Path Fitness. He suggests a HIIT (high intensity interval training) session on a Sunday night for the most effective endorphin release, allowing you to feel accomplished and renewed as you get into bed.
Sometimes a stressful Sunday evening can be the result of leaving everything to the last minute – we’re only human, it happens. If meal prepping, ironing and packing school bags are tasks that loom over you like a dark cloud that’s about to burst, then get them out of the way. Sunday evenings can lend themselves to waves of worry.
If you’re having a lie-in on a Sunday, not only are you going to find it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep before Monday, but you’re also less likely to achieve tasks that might be playing on your mind throughout the day. Try to understand exactly what’s triggering your troubles each time a new week approaches. Organising yourself in advance is a great way to stave off counterproductive thoughts. Although your mind may be on the bottle of Merlot and chicken madras you’re planning to pick up en route home, get outstanding tasks completed and make sure your Friday self looks after your future self!
Have a digital detox
Feelings of anxiety often arise due to our most loathed foe: fear of missing out (FOMO). Looking at photos of friends and family meeting up over the weekend without you can lead to worry that you’re being excluded. “My top piece of advice to combat Sunday stress is to switch your phone off, and don’t look at it again until Monday,” says Melanie Lawson, founder of Bare Biology. “Dedicate the evening to doing something for you. Read, or attend a yoga class!”